The Outraged Belarussians' Marches forced the regime to back off.
One of the leaders of the Belarusian National Congress Mikalai Statkevich said this to Charter97.org commenting on the protest rallies held against Decree No. 3 last year: – Mass protests against the tax on the unemployed that were held across the whole country, initiated by the Belarusian National Congress a year ago, first of all demonstrated the dignity of our people. And the regime saw the depth of popular hatred towards itself. The authorities used force against the protests, but had to back off. Now the Belarusians have become quiet, but they did not submit to the regime.
We see a second attempt to return the taxes to the unemployed. The first was planned from October 1 last year. But the BNC announced the March of Disgruntled Belarusians-2.0 on October 21. The frightened authorities postponed the introduction of those charges then. Besides, they even changed their attitude to the murders of soldiers in the army and began their investigation in order not to increase the number of March participants. People calmed down and only a few hundred people came to the March.
The authorities took that as a loss of the society's readiness for resistance. According to their gangster logic, the absence of countermeasures is perceived as an invitation to robbery. Therefore, a new attempt to introduce fees for the unemployed was made on April 1.
The date was not chosen by chance: on March 25, patriots will go out into columns in honor of the BPR's 100th anniversary. If a large number of people take to the streets, the authorities may postpone the introduction of Decree No. 1.
The main rascal and thief will never voluntarily give up the opportunity to pick our pockets. As well as he will not share a smallest part of even symbolic power. One must scare a thief to make him return stolen (it does not matter – money or elections). A year ago the Belarusians did it. We'll have to scare him one more time. And to scare him much stronger.